My favorite moment of the Warriors-Cavs series?
Game 5 I’m sitting in the back of this jam-packed sports bar at a table with this big crew of young black guys and gals. All of whom are loudly rooting for the Warriors. Except for this one guy. This young guy with dreads. He’s rooting for the Cavs. Probably the only guy in the entire building that’s rooting for the Cavs.
Every time the Cavs score a point he’s the only person in the crowd who cheers. And when the Cavs fuck up (which was often) he’d grimace in pain. You could tell he was a die-hard fan.
But throughout the game all of his friends were mercilessly ragging on him.
Every time LeBron made a mistake, one of them would get in his face and shout things like: “BEST PLAYER ON THE PLANET?? HMPH!! HE’S A CHUMP!!”
He’d try to muster a comeback. But it’s hard to be the one person standing up against a rabid mob. And I always respect anyone with the guts to do that.
But as the game was winding down and you could tell the Cavs were going down, his friends got even more brutal with the mockery. One of the chicks kept pointing at him with a wild smile on her face while she kept shouting at him: “YOUR CAVS ARE NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF LOSERS!! LOOOOSERS!!! MAYBE NEXT YEAR, BRO’!!”
And all he could do was put his head down and sort of retreat into his shell and take the abuse. What could he say? The Cavs were losers.
But right after the game ended, and the Warriors had won, and the entire sports bar is going absolutely nuts. I couldn’t resist going up to him and patting him on the shoulder.
“Your Cavs put up a good fight,” I said. “They’ll be back next year.”
And we pushed knuckles.
And he gave me the biggest, sweetest smile I had ever seen.
It was probably the first nice thing anybody had said to him all night. Ha ha.